United Nations Global Pulse developed this social media monitoring dashboard to explore and measure online conversations about climate change around the world in support of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September 2014.

Global political momentum is building around climate change, as the scientific and economic evidence has become clear: action is needed, and the time is now. News headlines and conversations across social media show that people are discussing climate risks and opportunities, politics and science. Measuring these conversations can help reveal what climate issues are discussed most, and where such topics are prioritized.

Global Pulse developed this social media monitoring dashboard to explore online conversations about climate change on social media in support of the United Nations Secretary-General’s 2014 Climate Summit, and ahead of the next UN Climate Change Conference (or COP 21) in Paris 2015. The dashboard shows the total volume of tweets about different climate change topics starting in April 2014, as well as popular hashtags, links, tweets and sentiment refreshed on a weekly basis.

Using an open keyword taxonomy, developed in collaboration with data scientists at IFRIS, Sciences Po and Momentum for Change, the tool analyzes millions of tweets from around the world in English, Spanish and French in real time across relevant topic areas like energy, forests, oceans and economy. These data-driven insights can support decision makers in taking action on climate change or act as proxy indicator for interest in a specific climate-related topic. For example, when Australia repealed its carbon tax in July 2014 there was a spike in volumes of tweets about energy and economy, as well as dramatic increases in both positive and negative sentiment, revealing a surge in public social media engagement on the issue.

Data access is provided through a partnership between Global Pulse and DataSift.

About Global Pulse

Global Pulse is an innovation initiative of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, exploring how new data sources and real-time analytics can help policymakers gain new insights into emerging vulnerabilities and changes in human well-being. Global Pulse is playing a leading role in helping the UN and other development partners adapt the new opportunities created by Big Data to meet the challenges of driving sustainable development. Through public-private partnerships, innovative analysis and open-source technology development, Global Pulse is strengthening public sector capacity to leverage digital big data for development and resilience.  With innovation centers known as Pulse Labs, in New York, Jakarta and Kampala, Global Pulse leverages big data to address topics such as: public health, economic well-being, agriculture & food security, urban resilience and humanitarian action. For more information about Global Pulse, visit www.unglobalpulse.org.

About the Climate Summit

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting the Climate Summit on 23 September 2014 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Summit will mark the first time in five years that world leaders will get together to chart a bold, new course of action on climate change. Heads of state and government will join leaders from business and civil society to announce new commitments and practical actions to address climate change. The Summit will consist of an opening ceremony, announcements by heads of state and governments, announcements by the private sector, the launch of new initiatives that address key action areas by coalitions of governments, businesses and civil society organizations. There will also be sessions that focus on critical aspects of climate change, including science, people living on the frontlines of climate change, the societal benefits of action, and the economic case for action on climate change. The Secretary-General will summarize the outcome of the day at the closing ceremony. For more information about the Secretary-General’s 2014 Climate Summit, please visit www.un.org/climatechange/summit/.